Humanity has come a long way. From living in caves, humans moved on to living in skyscrapers. Ordering a fresh pizza that is delivered in 30 minutes, consuming raw food, wearing animal hides, and wearing luxury clothing are all examples of extremes between flying and running hundreds of kilometres barefoot.
But here’s the thing—these benefits come at a very high cost. Even though science, technology, and industrialization made our lives easier, they also caused some environmental damage. Pollution, waste, excessive consumption, greed, and unsafe workplaces are increasingly commonplace in this cosmos, which is our only home.
However, things are now permanently changing. Through corporate sustainability, businesses and consumers have taken action to build a more sustainable world. So, what exactly is business sustainability? What future trends in sustainability can you anticipate seeing grow?
Corporate Sustainability: What Is It?
Let’s first talk about what corporate sustainability actually entails before getting into the sustainability trends for 2023. Corporate sustainability, in a nutshell, refers to methods used by businesses to conduct operations in a way that offers advantages to society and the environment. It was not so long ago that things were really different. Companies didn’t think much about their impact on the environment, employee rights, or the welfare of our community. In most cases, making money came first.
The environmental foundation
This pillar covers techniques to cut back on waste, water use, carbon footprint, etc. Large businesses were once responsible for a great deal of noise, air, and water pollution, simply because there was very little regulation in the past, which is why corporations got away with it. but not anymore. When it comes to environmental impact, things are very different in the 2020s.
The social foundation
Since ancient times, workers have fought for their rights. In actuality, the idea of a 40-hour workday did not exist until 1940. People used to put in ridiculous hours under challenging circumstances as a result. However, they were able to get the right to work only 40 hours a week and spend the remaining time as they pleased through protests and activism.
We have made far more progress in the ongoing era. A crucial component of corporate sustainability is the social pillar. Companies have a duty to treat stakeholders fairly, including employees. This includes offering a competitive wage in a timely manner, as well as sick days, maternity leave, and mental health support.
The economic foundation
This one is more focused on business and less on social and environmental problems. You see, a company needs to be lucrative in order to remain in operation. A company must find a way to make a profit without endangering the environment or society. Be aware that while profit is still important, other factors still play a role.
Five Corporate Sustainability Trends in 2023
Let’s talk about the top 5 trends that could impact sustainability in the near future now that you are aware of what corporate sustainability actually entails.
- Reducing carbon emissions
With good reason, carbon emissions are a subject that frequently makes the news. One of the largest barriers to full sustainability is still carbon emissions. However, a lot of businesses are putting in extra effort to bring about a shift.
- A different type of workforce
As was already established, today’s workers are very different from those of the previous century. The modern workforce is multicultural, international, and goal-oriented. The time when people merely worked to support their families is long past. Today’s workers desire growth opportunities, occupational safety, and flexibility.
Also, businesses are treating this seriously. The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Accessibility (DEIA) plan for NASA, for instance, was released. Their four strategic goals are: workforce diversity; workforce equality and inclusion (employee experience); accessibility and accommodation; and DEIA integration with the NASA mission, as stated in the voluminous paper.
- Reducing waste
Waste cannot be entirely eliminated; it can only be mitigated. That is the unfortunate reality.However, we can reduce trash to the point where it poses no harm by utilising clever sustainability measures.
The world is learning how to develop a circular economy—an economy with minimal waste—from corporate behemoths like Amazon. The world’s largest online retailer did this. The corporation was able to get rid of 900,000 metric tonnes of packing by reducing the weight of outbound packaging by 33%. The equivalent number of shipping boxes is 1.6 billion. sincerely admirable
- Moral sourcing and production
There’s a good possibility that whatever you recently purchased, whether it be an electronic device, a new pair of pants, or even a packet of ground coffee, was made elsewhere. Western businesses are required to uphold the same sustainability standards both locally and abroad. When that happens, ethical sourcing is important.
Since ethical sourcing has become more popular in recent years, more companies are likely to join the movement.
- Using sustainability professionals
The income for environmental consulting in the UK increased from £1,276 million in 2011 to £1,866 million in 2021, according to Statista. This number is likely to increase not only in the United Kingdom but also in the European Union, given the current situation. Furthermore, in the United States, the market for environmental consulting services was worth an astounding $56,394.3 million in 2021.
If your company falls into this category, you might be wondering where to locate sustainability experts. Don’t worry, LBTC offers management consultancy services for those who are prepared to collaborate closely with you to make your companies more socially and environmentally responsible.